It’s All in the Eyes

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Dear My Optically Engaged Friends,

I have invited Tim Harwood, an Optometrist from the UK to contribute to my blog because he is an expert in the area of eye health.  I have recently realized that as we spend a lot of time in the start of this New Year making resolutions about health, having conversations around health and doing all we can to create a healthier body we tend to focus on the areas we know. Losing weight, toning fat, eating right, going natural, cleansing, ceasing smoking, all areas of our body that we know how to keep healthy and how to make healthy. Eye health is something we’re not as well versed in but definitely something just as important. I went for a routine eye appointment recently and my doctor discovers I have a disease known as Dacryostenosi. The disease means I literally can’t cry, my tear ducts are clogged. I had a million questions: what causes it? how did I get it? what’s the treatment? will I ever cry again? I walked out of there so overwhelmed because in all the extraneous measures I take to keep my physical body healthy this was definitely an area I’ve overlooked.

Thus the reason I’m bringing in the expert!

Tim writes:

How to ensure we keep our healthy eyes

Our eyes are precious to us and you can imagine what life would be like being blind if you close your eyes for a few minutes. We need our vision for pretty much all the tasks that we do in everyday life; driving, working, reading and playing sport are just some of the tasks we would be unable to do without our vision. We should never assume that our eyes are healthy just because our vision is fine, as eye diseases can often occur so slowly that it can be hard for us to be aware of their presence. In order to ensure we give our eye’s the best chance of ‘seeing’ us though out our entire life I have composed a list of the most important things you should endeavour to do:

  • Ensure you have regular eye checkups: It is recommended that we have our eye’s tested at least every 2 years. If you are over 70 years old or there is a history of Glaucoma or other eye diseases in the family you should be seen at least once per year. The premise behind regular eye tests is that prevention is better than cure. The number one way to ensure that your eyes remain healthy is to pick up any diseases or problems as early as possible. Glaucoma is an example of a disease with no symptoms in its early stages meaning you could have it without realising. If it is picked up early during an eye test it is easily treatable in most cases having no negative impact on your vision.
  • Don’t ignore visual symptoms: The worst thing you can do if you get any visual symptoms is to ignore them. Ignoring symptoms does not make them go away and acting on them will ensure you have the best chance of preserving your vision. Flashing lights, floating specks in your vision, sudden reduction in vision, distortion of vision and blind spots in your vision are all symptoms that you should treat seriously. If you have any of these symptoms you should consult with a doctor or optometrist immediately. I am not saying this to scare anyone as these symptoms do not always mean there is a threat to your vision but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Wear eye protection: If you are in a job where there is the potential of objects flying into your eyes, you should make sure you wear the appropriate safety spectacles. This is also advisable if you are doing similar tasks at home such as DIY jobs. Accidents like this are one of the biggest causes of loss of vision and are completely avoidable. 
  • Ensure your children have eye tests: It is crucially important that you get your children’s eyes tested as early as possible as they could have a lazy eye without you knowing it. Children don’t always tell their parents if they have problems with their vision as they may not want to wear glasses. Children’s vision develops up to the age of 7 years old and once they are beyond this age a lazy eye can no longer be treated.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and Vegetables: There is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that eating lots of fruit and vegetable and in particular green leafy vegetables can improve the health of the eyes. Examples of such vegetables are spinach, green cabbage and Kale.
  • Maintaining your general health: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can result in problems in the eye just as it can have negative effects within the body. Ensuring your blood pressure and cholesterol are normal will go a long way to ensuring that your eyes are healthy.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is found to increase the chances of getting many eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. It is also bad for your general health so quitting smoking is extremely advisable.

The aim of this information is to give you an insight into what the best practices are when it comes to maintaining healthy eyes. It does not guarantee that our eyes will remain healthy as there are always occasions where regardless of how vigilant we are, something may happen that affects our vision. If this article makes you at least think about the health of your eyes a little bit more than it has served its purpose. To read more about eye health or laser eye surgery you can visit which aims to provide imprudent advice on all types of treatment.

Tim Harwood is an Optometrist from the UK. He specializes in laser eye surgery, eye health or any vision related issues.

Love Always,



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